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Category: Interesting Facts

The Evolution of the Compass

The introduction of the compass forever changes how we navigate around the world. Before the initiation of the compass, the geographical locations and the direction at sea were entirely determined using landmarks. The landmarks were complemented with the citing of the position of the celestial bodies. Besides the use of landmarks and celestial bodies, other methods might have been used by the Vikings to determine the elevation and direction of the sun from the act of daylight undergoing polarization. The Vikings might have used cordierite and birefringent crystal. Therefore, the discovery of the compass enabled the easy determination of the heading especially during the times when the sky was foggy and also when land markers could not be sighted.

The engineers intensified their research on magnetism by carrying out experiments of mounting the compass needle and placing them at the central point of the card which displayed the cardinal directions. These directions are north, south, east, and west. Later on, a discrepancy in the accuracy of the compass readings arose because of the variation of the true north and the magnetic north. The variations were identified to be more significant in the regions closer to the North and South poles[1]. Therefore, the engineers designed the magnetic compass with the ability to adjust it to account for the variations brought about by the changes in latitudes

The breakthrough of the invention of the compass made a significant change in the people’s lives in the manner in which they navigate direction in the sea. The compass made navigation easier because there was no more use of landmarks and celestial bodies whose sighting was problematic in foggy weather. Therefore, there was an increase in the safety of the seafarers and the volumes of sea trades. However, there was a drawback of the discrepancies brought about by variations in the magnetic and geographic norths which reduces the accuracy of the compass.

The creation of the magnetic compass paved the way for the invention of the satellites and GPS. These are modern forms of locating the positions just like what the ancient mariners did with the magnetic compass. The current satellites and GPS increased the accuracy and navigability of the sailors and the pilots in the transportation sector. The contemporary navigation tools are much more sophisticated as they not only show direction but also record the positions of given locations regarding coordinates and height above sea level.

Wonderful Places of Colorado: The Molas Pass

The Molas Pass is one of the best places to visit in Colorado.  The Pass is a high mountain pass at above 10000 feet located West of Colorado in the San Juan Mountains in the US. The San Juan National Forest surrounds the Pass. The Million Dollar Highway, the San Juan Skyway Byway passes through the pass. The Molas Pass is usually open during the winter season. The Molas is the last mountain pass in which riders compete against the Train from Durango to Silverton.

Things to know about the Molas Pass

The Molas Pass is very popular on peak seasons and once can easily access it off the US 550. In the major part of a good year, the Molas Pass is above treeline. The fascinating part of this is that the meadows are painted with wildflowers. Climbing the Little Molas Lake and through the Little, Molas Carpark gives you access to the 11000 ft peak of the mountain pass. The trail continues to the North Lime Creek.

As much as the trail is not quite steep, some people find it hard to get to the peak due because of its high altitude. On embarking on the trail, always take between two to three liters in between the day to avoid dehydration by altitude sickness.

The trail splits in the first three miles. Keep right at both intersections. Mile 3 of the trail entails a track to your left. In the case, you wish to do a ten-mile day hike, take the first major creek crossing. In case you want to embark on an overnight trail, pack for the night and use the traditional campsite just close to the Lime Creek at the sixth Mile.

Always be conscious of the weather. This will ensure you handle exposed sections of the trail with caution as you hike the Molas Pass. During months of summer and thunderstorms, trail during afternoons.

Who to take to the Molas Pass

The Molas is an interesting place. With all the fun that you will on its trails surfaces, walls, restaurants, caves, peaks, and camps, remember to carry a camera. This is a good place for the experienced and lovers of hiking, families, and friends. On arrival, it is good first to ensure you are at your best before embarking on a trail to its peak or any point you plan to get to.

Fun things to do on the Molas Pass

The Molas is known for many things, but there are fun things to do to get the best out of a trip on the Molas Pass

Hiking and camping

On the Molas Pass most commonly is the hiking, not many hikes in the night and therefore hiking in the night leads to camping. Camping in a place that carries a history of many years can be fun. Camping next to the Little Molas Lake has been termed as the best things to do in Colorado.

Outlooking

The Molas Pass farthest peak is at around 11 000 ft. The snowcaps do not stretch to the point of not seeing the other side. With this goo altitude, one enjoys the scenic and lovely appearance of the areas surrounding the Molas Pass like the railway line from Durango to the Silverton station.

 

Biking

Instead of taking the train, a ride alongside the Durango and Silverton train is fun. Hiring a bicycle in the camps can help with that. Riding along the Durango and Silverton is termed one of the best road hikes in Colorado and the entire US.

Regulations, procedures, and directions

The starting point of your trip is Durango. Ride north on the US 550 and on reaching the Purgatory Resort, go down to the Call Bank Pass 10,640 feet. You will get to the Molas Pass in the next miles from the Coal Bank Pass. Continue half a mile to get to the C84 before taking a left and proceeding to a rough road, and you will be at the Little Molas Campground and carpark. There follow long drops, and a trail at the edge of the carparks intersects with the CT in a few hundred meters.

After the hike, you can also take a ride north on the 550 popularly termed, the Million Dollar Highway. This section makes up for one of Colorado’s finest drives. In seven miles you will be at the mining town of Silverton, the destination of the Durango and Silverton railroad.

World Cultures

As the chapter begins; “domesticable animals are all alike, every undomesticable animal is undomesticable in its own way,” do we get to see the parody of the first sentence in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina; “happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” It may not sound similar, but Diamond, the author, is pointing out how we define success and failure in general. You may call it the Anna Karenina principle, but while progress narrows to a specific list of events, he describes failure like everything else. In this case, animals symbolized people living with other people in a life-long commitment.

Perhaps what interested the author the most was the Anna Karenina principle when he points out that his work relates to marriages. Through symbolism, the author expressed his reason that some animals were domesticated merely because they met some form of criteria such as growing too fast and the tendency to kill people. As critical as it may be, this comparison does hit the bull’s eye. Both marriages and domesticated animals have to be agreed upon since they had to live with each other for a long time. Humans cannot live together if they lack factors that bind them together. Similarly, animals cannot be domesticated if they have a tendency of killing humans and cannot be tamed.

Apart from symbolizing his work to marriage, Diamond also wanted to explain the rise of civilization and cultures. In this chapter, a few of the world’s large animals can be domesticated. While previous episodes talked about plants, domestication of animals particularly large mammals proved to be beneficial with plowing, war, source of food and skin, as well as transport. Out of 14 large domesticated mammals, humans domesticated 13 of them originated in Eurasia. This further meant that human domesticated large animals since 2500 BC. However, not every civilization developed along its line of animals they used to subdue. Most continents such as Africa lost most of the suitable animal candidates for domestication.

In the chapter, the author first talks about how domesticable animals are bred to be docile around human beings. Strangely, we have only domesticated a few animals have when compared to the number of plants. He then explained that wild animals could be found all over but not at an equal measure. For instance, there was only one sizeable domesticated mammal in South America from which the alpaca and llama descended from. Strangely also, there are many wild animals in Africa but just a few large domesticated mammals. Therefore, Africa had limited agriculture due to the geographic spread.

While Europe domesticated horses, Africa did not domesticate Zebras yet they are almost similar. Every geographical region was naturally endowed differently with Europe having many large domesticated animals that other places. As a result, Europe became more civilized rapidly with regards to animal domestication as compared to other parts of the world. Consequences that followed later saw a huge tendency in animal domestication among Europeans when compared to different regions such as Africa. Furthermore, the social trend of having pets further led to animal domestication. However, technology has rapidly taken over animal use leaving majority of the large animals without use. Also, modern domestication of other animals is not easy.

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